Researchers are increasingly evaluated not only by the number of articles published but also by their impact. Traditionally, the impact of publications is measured by citations. Unfortunately, it takes a while before citations start to accumulate and they also provide a limited picture of an article's impact. For that reason, other metrics – such as readership figures; social media mentions; and captures and shares on academic networks are becoming increasingly popular. See HEFCE's The Metric Tide for a fuller discussion of the types of metrics considered for REF2021.
At the same time, the number of publicly available journal articles is growing and is expected to increase with the move towards Open Access. Developing the skills necessary to increase the visibility of research and measure impact is increasingly important and a key part of the modern research lifecycle.
This guide provides an outline of some of the tools available to researchers who are looking to play an active role in making sure your work gets the attention it deserves. It focuses on the following areas: